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Orthodox Constructions of the West$
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George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251926

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251926.001.0001

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Religion in the Greek Public Sphere: Debating Europe's Influence

Religion in the Greek Public Sphere: Debating Europe's Influence

(p.181) Religion in the Greek Public Sphere: Debating Europe's Influence
Orthodox Constructions of the West

Effie Fokas

Fordham University Press

This chapter navigates between two bodies of theory regarding secularization in Orthodox contexts and the influence of ‘Europe’ on the latter: does ‘Europeanization’ lead to secularization of majority Orthodox countries in line with levels of secularization found in Western European countries, or do Orthodox contexts represent an exception in resisting such influence and manifesting a distinctive pattern of secularisation± In addressing this question the author first calls for a distinction between different aspects of secularization (decline of religious belief and practice; privatization of religious belief and practice; and institutional differentiation). The author then assesses the influence of ‘Europe’ on secularization in Greece through attention to two particular developments to do with religion in the public sphere: the removal of the religious affiliation field from national identity cards, and the European Court of Human Rights judgment in Lautsi v. Italy (2009, later reversed in 2011) regarding the presence of the crucifix on Italian public school walls.

Keywords:   Secularization, Greek Orthodoxy, public sphere, identity cards, Lautsi v. Italy (ECtHR 2009; 2011)

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